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21 July 2017

Despite Health Risks, Lawmakers Not Curbing Cell Phone Usage (2011 Article)

Several members of Congress in May spoke out when the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) labeled the radiofrequency fields generated by mobile phones as possibly carcinogenic to humans... 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is focused on other issues, said, "I'm concerned about a lot of things but not about that.”

Despite health risks, lawmakers not curbing cell phone usage
by Gautham Nagesh, The Hill, 9 July 2011

Lawmakers who have raised concern about a possible link between cell phones and cancer have not stopped using their held-held devices.



Several members of Congress in May spoke out when the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) labeled the radiofrequency fields generated by mobile phones as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who has held hearings on the issue, told The Hill he's concerned about young people spending hours everyday with their cell phones next to their ears.

"We don't know the long-term effects," Harkin said.

"There's no scientific evidence, but it can't be good," he added, noting that intermittent use is OK.

In addition, Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) asked the Government Accountability Office last month to conduct a thorough review of existing research on the health risks of long-term mobile use.

Waxman said he is trying to secure funding for further research with his colleagues.

"With the significant increase in mobile phone usage over these years and this most recent study from the WHO, now is the time for further research," Markey said in a statement.

“The health of the American consumer is not something to play around with,” added Eshoo. “It’s absolutely imperative that we’re giving adequate attention to cell phone use as a public health issue, and that’s why it only makes sense for the GAO to reexamine their finding.”

But none of the lawmakers interviewed by The Hill said they had curbed their own cell phone use.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is focused on other issues, said, "I'm concerned about a lot of things but not about that.”

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said he is "always concerned about things like that." But Levin said he isn't an expert on the matter and noted the IARC's research wasn't conclusive.

Levin's point was affirmed this week when a new review of previous research published by a committee of experts from the U.S., Britain and Sweden concluded the evidence indicates there is no connection between mobile use and brain tumors.

"Although there remains some uncertainty, the trend in the accumulating evidence is increasingly against the hypothesis that mobile phone use can cause brain tumors in adults," the experts wrote in Environmental Health Perspectives.

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/170533-despite-concern-about-health-risks-lawmakers-not-changing-their-cell-phone-habits#.WXAozI-lOZc.facebook

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